In today's world, the public school system has an enormous influence on a child's perception of what is wrong and what is right. Simple religious symbols appear in seemingly all things American, such as the Star-Spangled Banner, the Pledge of Allegiance, and even United States currency. However, the concept of government funded public school buildings being used for the dissemination of religious doctrines and viewpoints has caused controversy for hundreds of years. Due to the many complications of prayer and religious conduct in public schools, it is imperative that we discuss and dissemble the problems associated with this paradox.
Forty-four percent of Americans attend church once a week, not counting funerals, christenings and baptisms, compared with twenty-seven percent of people in Great Britain, twenty-one percent of the French, four percent of Swedes and three percent of Japanese. These statistics show how heavily the current United States population relies on their religions. Some say that for a country based to such an extent on religion, prayer rightly has a place in our public school systems. "Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life.""(Jonathan Edwards) .
Of the 275,562,673 people in our country, fifty-six percent of the population is Protestant, twenty-eight percent Catholic, and two percent Jewish. Four percent of men and women in the United States follow a different religion and ten percent of all Americans practice none at all.
(Current as of 1989, Johnson 7-8) To elucidate the above-mentioned results, eighty-six percent of the entire American inhabitance is of one or another organization that accepts as true the existence of a god. This is an even more overwhelming reason why arguments are upheld in some courts for the issue of prayer being allowed in public schools.
In the 1947 case of Everson vs. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th amendment (Passed by Congress June 13, 1866.